Specific versus general skills and abilities: A job level examination of relationships with wage

Maria Rotundo, Paul R. Sackett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The extensive literature purporting an upgrading in occupational skill requirements paired with the perception of a skill shortage in the workforce calls for the need to develop workplace skills and abilities. However, decisions about which skills to develop would be aided by information about which skills/abilities are valued most highly and lead to higher wage jobs. The job evaluation literature and labour-market wage theory present competing hypotheses about skill-wage relationships. The ACT Inc.'s Work Keys® system, the prototype Occupational Information Network, and the fourth edition Dictionary of Occupational Titles job analytic databases were paired with concurrent wage data. These data made it possible to conduct a job-level evaluation of whether specific skills/abilities could be identified that were most strongly linked to wage or whether broad skill/ability factors accounted for a majority of wage variance. Results indicated that a majority of the wage variance explainable by skills/abilities could be attributed to a general cognitive factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-148
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Volume77
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004

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